My MP, David Morris reckons that a Conservative conference is 'a chance to discuss new ideas'. At least that was the headline in my local newspaper, the Morecambe Visitor. Sorry David I watched most of the conference and saw no discussion - unless you count the two retired soldiers who heckled Philip Hammond. However even this is stretching the definition of a discussion as I don't think Philip, and for that matter most of the delegates could hear what the retired soldiers were saying. I know that they were putting the case for the Royal Fusiliers but that is only because I watched the news on television.
Maybe there was discussion of new ideas that I missed on television. Maybe the fringe meetings were where the discussion took place. I carried on reading the article and David 'addressed a fringe event on nuclear power'. Doesn't sound like a discussion to me, but maybe it wasn't just a speech. Maybe there were opposing views that were discussed. It doesn't sound like it. And even if the delegates were allowed to discuss anything they are still delegates. They are told what to say by the people who delegate. Now if they were representatives they would be allowed to think for themselves. All that they would then need would be a motion to vote on.
In this article David gives us no other reason for feeling that any discussion had taken place at the Tory conference. So where does this idea of discussion come from? As for what was seen by the television viewer, we have a Tory Party lurching to the right. If Eric Pickles speaks for the whole party then despite David Cameron telling us how important it is to be in Europe we are about to leave. We will continue to face spending cuts even when they are not necessary to balance the budget.
Whatever the subject, whoever the speaker, David Morris needs to be clear that there are no discussions and no votes at a Tory conference. This blog may have been written because of a sub-editor writing the wrong headline but at least it is clear that discussions don't take place at a Tory conference and the delegates wouldn't be able to give their opinion even if they wanted to!
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